NASA has not shelved its $700M mission to Pluto, saying that it is interested in Pluto whether it is called a "planet" or a "garden hose".
NASA said Thursday that Pluto's demotion would not affect its US$700 million New Horizons spacecraft mission, which earlier this year began a 9 1/2-year journey to the oddball object to unearth more of its secrets.
''We will continue pursuing exploration of the most scientifically interesting objects in the solar system, regardless of how they are categorized,'' Paul Hertz, chief scientist for the science mission directorate, said in a statement.
Translation: "It's too late to turn back now"
They said that a "planet" must maintain its own gravitational force and have a reasonably "round" orbit around the sun. Pluto is being declassified because it has an orbit that crosses path with Neptune.
This. Changes. Everything.
As a kid, growing up, I was taught a mnemonic device for remembering the planetary order:
Mary's Violet Eyes Make John Stay Up Nights Praying
Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto
I don't like the idea of having John Stay Up Nights without a purpose. We need a new mnemonic device.
Who else learned different devices to remember the planetary order? Will yours work without Pluto in the mix?
Pluto has long been the center of much controversy. Most people recognize that Pluto is Mickey Mouse's pet dog. At some times, though, Pluto was also known to be the property of the irascible Donald Duck. Still, at other times, Pluto was Goofy's pet. Although it makes very little sense for a mouse or a duck to have a pet dog, it's bordering on ludicrousness for a dog to have a pet dog. You tell me.
coming soon: a post on a very Pavement-esque moment at work the other day.
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